JOLIET — It took jurors an hour and a half to convict the final suspect in the Hickory Street slayings.
Adam M. Landerman, 21, was charged with murdering Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover Jr. on Jan. 9, 2013. He was found guilty Monday afternoon.
As Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak read the decision he had been found guilty of both murders, Landerman’s mouth opened as he sat leaning forward at the defense table. As the jurors were individually polled to confirm the verdict, he raised his hand to his chin and lifted a finger to his lip.
Landerman faces mandatory life in prison.
Glover and Rankins were lured to Alisa Massaro’s house in the 1100 block of North Hickory Street in Joliet, where they expected to party with Massaro and Bethany McKee. But Joshua Miner and Landerman plotted with the women to rob Glover and Rankins for cigarette money. Miner strangled Rankins while Landerman strangled Glover.
“This defendant didn’t even bother learning their names. Throughout [Landerman’s police interview] they’re ‘bald guy’ [Rankins] and ‘dreads’ [Glover],” Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Tricia McKenna said during closing arguments Monday.
Miner and McKee were found guilty of murder in separate trials, and Massaro pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for testifying against the others.
Landerman’s attorneys did not call any witnesses after prosecutors rested their case Monday morning and Landerman told Bertani-Tomczak he would waive his right to testify in his own defense.
“You understand you have that right?” the judge asked.
“Yes, I do,” replied Landerman, who is the son of a Joliet police officer. “It’s my decision.”
Joliet Police Officer Bruce Trevillian testified Monday he saw someone through the upstairs window when he arrived at Massaro’s house the afternoon following the killings, but no one answered the door.
When police went in, they found Massaro coming to the front from the kitchen and asked her if anyone else was inside.
“She just looked at us blankly … after asking a few more times, she said, ‘Josh was upstairs and Adam was downstairs,'” Trevillian said.
Trevillian and another officer then searched the basement with their guns drawn before hearing voices on the second floor, where they found Miner sitting on a couch smoking a cigarette with Glover’s and Rankins’ bodies on the floor.
Landerman was later found hiding in the basement behind some wood paneling, another officer testified earlier in the trial.
Defense attorney Edward Jaquays argued Landerman had not planned a robbery, but stopped Glover from jumping in when Miner and Rankins began fighting each other. After Landerman went into the next room to check on Rankins and discovered he was dead, he returned to find Miner strangling Glover, too.
But McKenna said Landerman told police they planned to rob Rankins before he arrived and Landerman agreed to help Miner do that by “taking” Glover.
“They died exactly the same way at exactly the same time at the hands of two different people … that is evidence of a planned murder,” McKenna said.
Jaquays said Landerman and Miner never had “a meeting of the minds” and his client was scared by Miner’s actions.
“He’s only scared because he got caught. He took a lead role in the depravities these individuals were doing,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow told jurors in closing rebuttal.
Glasgow said Landerman’s “baby face is a mask for an abandoned and malignant heart.”
“You saw [on the police video] the death choke he applied. [The victim’s] life is attached to yours and you feel it drain out of their bodies … [it’s] very demonic,” Glasgow said.
After the murders, the four suspects got $120, which they used to buy gas for McKee’s car and cocaine from Landerman’s dealer, according to investigators. They returned to the Hickory Street house, where they desecrated the bodies and made plans to dismember them before police interrupted them.
Jurors in this case did not hear McKee’s claims that Landerman, Massaro and Miner tried to have sex either on top of or next to the bodies because it was determined to be too prejudicial against the defendant.